Occassional AZ Visitor, Male Jaguar Killed In Mexico

A photograph analyzed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department confirmed that the last jaguar to venture into Arizona was killed recently in Mexico.

A photo of a jaguar pelt was independently analyzed by six Arizona Game and Fish (AZGFD) biologists to see if the pelt’s spot patterns match photographs of a male cat last seen in Arizona in May 2017. All six biologists concluded it was the same cat.

“We are saddened to report that this was the so-called ‘Huachuca cat’ that was seen in Arizona in late 2016 and early 2017,” said Jim deVos, AZGFD assistant director of the Wildlife Management Division. “We still don’t know when, where or why it was taken, but it’s a loss we’re all feeling.”

Like human fingerprints, every jaguar’s spots form unique patterns, and by isolating and reviewing photos of the spot patterns, AZGFD biologists were able to find exact matches between photos of the pelt and trail camera photos taken when the lone male jaguar crossed into the United States some 18 months ago.

Jaguars are only occasional visitors to Arizona and despite claims by the Center For Biological Diversity, no female jaguar has been seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. No jaguars are currently reported in Arizona, and according to deVos, there is little likelihood they would ever re-establish a presence here.

AZGFD biologists looked closely at these jaguar spot patterns to determine all these photos were from the same animal. AZGFD continues to work closely with our international partners to conserve and recover jaguars.

AZGFD remains committed to helping conserve the species. The Department uses taxpayer dollars to work closely with Mexican scientists and wildlife officials throughout the Americas to collaborate, study and conserve jaguars populations. In fact, at the “International Jaguar and Wild Felines Symposium” last month in Cancun, Mexico, AZGFD was the only U.S. entity invited to attend.

16 Comments on "Occassional AZ Visitor, Male Jaguar Killed In Mexico"

  1. The Oracle of Tucson | June 28, 2018 at 12:31 am |

    The senseless unwarranted needles tragic murder of this non-native lethal preditor is a severe blow to the die-hard efforts of the Center For Biological Diversity to lock up public lands.
    Sadly with this animals passing, now only legitimate reasons can be exploited in court in order to steal property away from its legal owners.
    The abusive practice of court ordered theft of public access onto public lands will also be limited by the passing of this four legged spotted pawn of the courts.
    It might take years or even decades and countless ounces of pot to recreate another crisis to this protential.
    I’m sure after five or six bong hits at kitty’s wake, the staff at the Center For Biological Diversity will have a group hug and press to protect the never before seen Sasquatch rumored to be living somewhere on public lands that’ll also require it’s protecting.

    The Oracle

  2. Thank God the animal was killed in Mexico because if it were to have happened here, the loony bleeding heart Leftists would have somehow blamed President Trump and his immigration politics. It’s what Leftist Democrats do…whine, whine, whine over virtually everything and anything.

  3. Sad to see this animal killed but at the same time, thank God the animal was killed in Mexico. If it were to have happened in AZ, the loony bleeding heart Leftists of Tucson would have somehow blamed President Trump and his immigration politics. It’s what Leftist Democrats do…whine, whine, whine over virtually everything and anything.

  4. Albert Lannon | June 28, 2018 at 6:32 am |

    Jaguars used to live here before deliberate extermination. They ranged north to the Grand Canyon and east through Texas. They are a native species. They are “charismatic megafauna” worth protecting as they try to reclaim their territory.

  5. Arizona Born | June 28, 2018 at 7:50 am |

    Why didn’t the intrepid reporter that wrote this story try and identify where the pelt photo came from?

  6. What is actually going on here, contrary to Mr. Lannon’s factually-tortured spin on it, is a none too subtle attempt to use the jaguar politically to establish open border corridors into perpetuity by improper use of critical habitat designation (or that habitat deemed essential to the jaguar’s existence as a species) in Arizona and New Mexico. This, despite the facts that the jaguar breeds in at least 23 countries to the south of us, its center of abundance is in South America, there are no documented breeding records of the jaguar from either Arizona or New Mexico (AGFD, NMFGD), and, moreover, there is no record of any naturally occurring female jaguar from New Mexico — ever. Since the factual evidence, contrary to Mr. Lannon’s opinion, actually shows that the jaguar has never has been anything other than a transient wanderer (almost all are single, transient males) to Arizona and New Mexico, did not live here and therefore did not disappear because of deliberate extermination, and since no naturally occurring female jaguar has ever been known to occur in New Mexico, it is neither rationally possible nor scientifically credible to claim, as the FWS does, that any area of either Arizona or New Mexico includes habitat essential to the jaguar’s existence, or, as Mr. Lannon does, that a resident population of jaguars once existed in both states that only disappeared because of deliberate extermination. The facts simply do not support either fiction. Nonetheless, the FWS’s current draft of the so-called “recovery plan” for the jaguar cedes US sovereignty over control of our southern boundary with Mexico where these so-called jaguar travel “corridors” occur to an international NGO in virtual perpetuity, no less, as an action claimed to be “essential” to the survival of the jaguar as a species. The recovery plan also takes other peoples’ water as “water for jaguars,” while creating Stasi-like snitch teams composed of taxpayer-funded environmental activists to report any perceived violation of the plan’s many draconian restrictions on a myriad of human activities and resource uses. All of this for an animal for which no breeding record exists or no naturally-occurring female has ever been recorded in the areas nonetheless designated as essential to the existence of the jaguar as a species by the FWS. In sum, while jaguars are certainly “charismatic megafauna,” the fact remains that the jaguar can no more “reclaim” territory it never occupied anymore than this dangerously political nonsense can be justified by falsely claiming otherwise.

    • Albert Lannon | June 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm |

      Wow! Didn’t know I was such a devious old fart!! For the record, the last female jaguar known in Arizona was killed by a hunter in the White Mountains in 1963. They were here. But don’t let me confuse you with the facts.

      • What, Again | June 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm |

        So what? They have four legs, can travel far distances and really don’t know or care where ‘here’ is. Have you appointed yourself lord of where wildlife will live?

      • Sounds like the only one confused by the facts here are you, Albert. Let me help straighten you out.

        The last naturally occurring female jaguar known from Arizona was that taken on November 13, 1949, in the Cerro Colorado Mountains northwest of Nogales. On the other hand, the administrative record for the jaguar clearly shows that the 1963 female jaguar you refer to was most likely of foreign origin and not naturally occurring at all. Instead, it was most likely one of many jaguars caught in Mexico and Belize that were being actively imported and released in Arizona and New Mexico at that time by a professional hunter for the purpose of conducting “canned,” professional hunts. The further fact that this jaguar was taken out of habitat in spruce / fir forest at well over 9,000′ in elevation — where no jaguar had ever been recorded before — so compromised the validity of this record that both AGFD and the FWS view the origin of this female as highly questionable as well.

        In short, while it may have been the last record of a female jaguar “known in Arizona,” as you state, it certainly cannot be said to be a record of a naturally occurring animal. Nor can this record be used to suggest that a breeding population of jaguars once existed in Arizona. Now that would be devious. But please, don’t let me confuse you with the actual facts.

  7. Don B. Fooled | June 28, 2018 at 2:15 pm |

    A few well-documented facts need more public exposure. First, the female jaguar killed at Big Lake in 1963 was most likely imported. That’s according to a world famous, 1960’s era, big game hunting guide who led hunts on the Mogollon Rim and knew more about “canned” hunting than anyone¬¬–because he did it–a lot.

    In the early 1960’s, he led numerous guaranteed big game hunts not far from where the female jaguar was killed. In the late 1950’s, he imported three female jaguars into southeastern Arizona and secretly released them a short distance away from his unwitting but rich and famous clients. At that time, however, it was legal. His clients went home fooled but very satisfied.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission, however, got suspicious and passed a new regulation requiring an AZGFD permit for transportation of wild game. In January 1963, the same guide was indicted for transporting large caged mountain lions across the Utah state line into Arizona, without the required permit. Crossing state lines made it a federal felony. He was convicted under the Lacey Act in 1964.

    In late September 1963, in-between the timing of the guide’s indictment and his conviction, two young men went “varmint calling” at 9,000 feet elevation near Big Lake and, to their surprise, a female jaguar stepped out of the brush. It is therefore quite likely that this same female jaguar had been released several weeks or months earlier from captivity– not for profit, but to dispose of criminal evidence.

    In 1973, the guide who had been convicted nine years earlier was found in possession of various species of exotic big cats with intent to release them from cages into western central New Mexico near the Arizona border, for sport hunting.

    Among the exotic cats were nine jaguars, many of them female. At least one of his recent clients had allowed a very small female jaguar to escape in New Mexico unharmed. On evidence that jaguar pelts were shipped from New Mexico to a taxidermist in Idaho, the guide was again convicted on federal charges under the Lacey Act.

    The latest female jaguar that possibly wandered naturally into United States, was killed in 1949 on the Mexican border near Nogales, Arizona.

    Secondly, no jaguar population can possibly “re-establish” in Arizona or New Mexico. The AZGFD’s comments on the jaguar critical habitat designation clearly state that there is no evidence of any historical breeding population of jaguars in Arizona or New Mexico.

    There are only 25 verifiable historical records of jaguars in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Writers who claim jaguars occurred in much greater numbers have relied heavily on unverifiable campfire tales. Those writers also counted, for example, one jaguar three people described – as three jaguars.

  8. The only one apparently confused by the facts here is you Albert. The last, likely, naturally-occurring female jaguar from Arizona was that taken in November of 1949 in the Cerro Colorado Mountains northwest of Nogales.

    The 1963 record you refer to, on the other hand, is most likely that of an animal of foreign origin and not naturally occurring at all. Instead, it is likely one of many jaguars caught in Mexico and Belize that were actively being released in Arizona and New Mexico at that time for “canned” hunting purpose by a professional guide. The further fact that this jaguar was taken at well over 9000′ in elevation in Spruce / Fir forest — or where no jaguar had been known to occur before — caused both AGFD and the FWS to conclude that this record is unreliable.

    In other words, the facts show that that this record can’t be used as evidence, as you nonetheless try to use it, to suggest that a resident, breeding population of jaguars once existed in Arizona because it is entirely questionable and unreliable.

    Apparently, either you forgot to mention this little fact, or you are not as familiar with the facts as you think you are.

  9. Albert Lannon | June 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm |

    I stand corrected.

    • What, Again | June 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm |

      It’s certainly not unusual that you spout without knowledge or facts. Ever heard of Google? It will save you considerable embarrassment.

  10. Don B. Fooled | June 30, 2018 at 6:52 am |

    Albert your willingness to listen to reason and overcome the dishonest and hysterical wildlife propaganda we are fed every day shows a lot of character.

    Something I overlooked mentioning earlier was that when the guide was caught in 1964 with 5 caged lions it was a major scandal in the hunting community. At the time the AZGFD was heavily publicizing hunters who had taken each of Arizona’s “Big 10” game species. Lions and bears were the hardest to get. This guide’s clients were not only getting the lions and bears but each new client set a new AZ record for the size of lion they took. It turns out the guide had a friend in southern Utah who was raising the lions in cages and feeding them well over a lifetime.

    The convicted guide also had large cats in cages at his home, and two of those lions starred in a Disney movie.
    When the female jaguar was taken at Big Lake followed by a young male jaguar taken by a government trapper on the FAIR, also out of habitat at over 8,000 feet in the snow the following January just 10 miles from one of the trailheads this guide had been using, AZGFD officials felt certain that this guide had imported them both.

    AZGFD allegedly took tissue samples to see if the two jaguars were related. Since the results were never publicized it is safe to assume they were not related.

  11. powers back | July 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm |

    its all trumps fault

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